What is an educated speculation or a possible answer to a question called?
A Hypothesis is not a wild guess. A hypothesis is a prediction based on a theory, As the hypothesis is derived from an idea it can be called an educated speculation. The guess is informed or educated by the ideas behind the theory.
Sometimes there is more than one possible answer. An example would be the density of the Universe. One possible answer is that the density is greater than Omega or 1. Then the universe would start slowing down and eventually reform into a superdense ball and recycle in another big bang. Another possible answer is that the density is equal to Omega or 1 which would result in a steady state universe. The third possibility is that the density would be less than Omega resulting in an open universe that would continue expanding.
The Studies were in 1998 to study the expansion of the universe. The Hypothesis was that the rate of expansion would be slowing down consistent with the theory of a closed universe. ( Omega greater than 1) The results were that the rate of expansion was speeding up, disproving the original hypothesis. The result supported the theory of an open universe.
Theories provide the ideas that make it possible to make a hypothesis or education guess (speculation). The results of experiments make it deciding between possible answers easier.